The Policy Research Programme

The Policy Research Programme (PRP) is a national research funding programme within the Department of Health’s (DH) Research and Development Directorate.

The PRP commissions high quality, research-based evidence relevant to the full policy remit of the DH. PRP research is commissioned by open competitive tender within the DH Research Governance Framework (2005).

PRP publishes details of commissioned projects and summary final reports received since April 2011. The next update will be in March 2016

PRP calls are managed on behalf of DH by the Central Commissioning Facility (CCF).

Current calls

DH PRP invites expressions of interest in the following areas:

New Benefits of General Practices offering patients access to test results

The Department of Health invites proposals for a single research project to inform policy and practice, for patients in general practice having access to results of their medical tests. This is a significant opportunity to inform policy in an area of increasing importance for patients and the NHS.

Research Specification Document

Timetable
  • Deadline for full application to Joint Call Secretariat: 1pm 11 October 2016
  • Notification of outcome: Mid May 2017

This is a two-stage application process. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their stage 1 application approximately nine weeks after the submission date. Researchers with applications shortlisted at stage 1 will be invited to submit a stage 2 application.

How to apply
New vCJD research to inform health protection policy and measures

The Department of Health’s Policy Research Programme invites outline proposals to undertake research to inform understanding of vCJD infection in the following areas:

  • Prevalence of pre-clinical vCJD infection in the UK population, including interpretation of exiting prevalence studies
  • Variations in estimated prevalence and actual cases of vCJD
  • The natural course of vCJD infection, including variations in host/agent interaction
  • Risk management and health protection measures, including the ability of pre-clinical infection to transmit
  • Development a specific and sensitive test which is able to detect pre-clinical levels of infection in blood or non-blood, which can be scaled to process large numbers of samples.
  • Development of decontamination technologies for re-usable medical instruments.

Research Specification Document

Timetable
  • Deadline for full application to Joint Call Secretariat: 1pm 11 October 2016
  • Notification of outcome: Mid May 2017

This is a two-stage application process. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their stage 1 application approximately nine weeks after the submission date. Researchers with applications shortlisted at stage 1 will be invited to submit a stage 2 application.

How to apply
New Vaccine evaluation research

The Department of Health’s Policy Research Programme invites outline proposals to evaluate vaccines for the national vaccination and immunisation programme, to inform policy and decision making including cost effectiveness, safety and schedules.

Research Specification Document

Timetable
  • Deadline for full application to Joint Call Secretariat: 1pm 11 October 2016
  • Notification of outcome: Mid May 2017

This is a two-stage application process. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their stage 1 application approximately nine weeks after the submission date. Researchers with applications shortlisted at stage 1 will be invited to submit a stage 2 application.

How to apply
New Research call on Operational Research for Infectious Disease

The Department of Health’s Policy Research Programme invites proposals to undertake responsive operational research to inform health protection policies by the Department.

The work programme will need to be flexible to follow the priorities of the Department of Health (DH) but would typically cover the following areas:

  • Integrated Personal Commissioning: Road Map for Delivery – NHS England confidential draft document• Strategic aspects of immunisation programmes and their effectiveness and cost effectiveness;
  • Aspects of disease modelling concerned with strategic issues of immunisation;
  • Logistics, communications and supply issues in particular for Immunisation programmes and Emergency Preparedness;
  • Risk assessment and management for Emergency Preparedness planning.

Research Specification Document

Timetable
  • Deadline for full application to Joint Call Secretariat: 1pm 11 October 2016
  • Notification of outcome: Mid May 2017

This is a two-stage application process. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their stage 1 application approximately nine weeks after the submission date. Researchers with applications shortlisted at stage 1 will be invited to submit a stage 2 application.

How to apply
New Second Joint Call for the European Research Area Network on Illicit Drugs: Society and Responses to Drug Use

The European Research Area Network on Illicit Drugs (ERANID) aims to improve cooperation in drug research in order to make well-founded, evidence-based policy decisions

The Department of Health is part of their second joint call which will fund multidisciplinary transnational research in ‘Society and responses to drug use‘. The call encourages research that will provide a better understanding of society’s responses to drug use, building on and complementing the focus of the first joint call on understanding drug use pathways.

Other participating countries in this call are Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal, Scotland and The Netherlands. Only transnational projects of three or more countries will be funded.

Timetable
  • Deadline for full application to Joint Call Secretariat: 12pm CET 18th October 2016

Please click here for the DH national guidance

How to apply
Closed calls

To view previous calls for applications from the Policy Research Programmes, please click here.

All applications need to be submitted on an electronic application form, available through the PRP CCF research management system. This is a secure website which requires a username and password to enter. Applications received by any other means (email, post, etc.) will not be accepted.

Please refer to the relevant guidance document on completing a PRP application form. This includes advice on how to navigate the PRP CCF research management system and upload documents. It is essential that this is read carefully. Please note there is specific guidance for Policy Research Unit applications:

Policy Research Unit application guidance

PRP application guidance

It is advisable to submit applications on the day before the deadline, as uploading the required supporting documents can take time, especially when the site is busy.

Research proposals are considered confidential by the CCF and all reasonable steps are taken to ensure that this confidentiality is not breached. Further information and guidance can be found in the confidentiality and disclosure guidance document hosted on the CCF website.

Further information about PRP

The PRP is committed to and expects the active involvement of patients and the public in the research it supports. PRP recognises that the nature and extent of active patient and public involvement (PPI) is likely to vary depending on the context of each study or award. A definition of patient and public involvement in research, further information and resources are available from INVOLVE

More detailed information about the PRP is currently available at www.prp.dh.gov.uk. Please note that the DH site has been archived and new content will be made available on this site in the future.

Relevant links

Transparency agenda

Governance framework

PRP standard contract

About the Central Commissioning Facility

The CCF acts as the managing agent, providing a public-facing point of contact for queries around all administrative, contractual and financial aspects of the PRP research commissioning process.

Contact details

PRP Central Commissioning Facility
Grange House
15 Church Street
Twickenham
TW1 3NL

Telephone: 020 8843 8000
PRP helpline: 020 8843 8027
Fax: 020 8843 8001
Email:prp@prp-ccf.org.uk

Our office hours are Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm